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Games don’t stick

PokémonGo and WizardsUnite slip out of sight

a branded drawn scene of Harry Potter world characters - a promo for an online event for the game

I started both PokémonGo and Wizards Unite with enthusiasm. I play daily for weeks. I primp my avatar. I collect treasures. I meet with fellow players to take down bosses and I join related groups online.

Weeks can turn into months. In PG I got to Level 33 and in WU, Level 28.

But then something happens. Some mysterious malaise sets in and my interest falls off a cliff. PG still has a place on my phone but I don’t use it, and my WU is officially active all but abandoned.

I have to say, it isn’t always a mystery as to why I stop playing. With PG, I know exactly when and why I quit. I’d been meeting up with raid groups to take down some big bosses. Afterward, I was not able to capture the boss pokémons for my collection like other raiders could. One day after yet another raid and yet another miss, I grew frustrated and quit. All the joy of the game disappeared and overnight, I was done. The people I’d been meeting were too random and varied for me to get to know any of them, so no-one missed my absence at the following raids.

With WU, boredom has been growing in the last several weeks. Then one day in September I got a warning that I was running out of allotted data for the month (rare). I shut down all unnecessary data usage. Those few days of not checking on WU while I was out and about was enough to break my habit. I’ve been stuck on Level 28 now for weeks. I’d usually progress through levels in a few days.

If I had friends nearby who played either game AND if those friends could make regular outings with me, perhaps I’d keep up. I just don’t have the identity investment to trudge through my boredom. Niantic (maker of both games) realizes players get bored and at times offer events to rekindle interest. A “Dark Magic” event is coming up in WU soon. I enjoyed previous events but as the days go by, I get further and further away from wanting to participate.

I’m sad about it. I delighted in both games when they were first released. I don’t know how to keep that enthusiasm. No friends are coming out of the PG or WU ether to play with. It’s just the same things to catch (in the game) and same lonely pursuit over and over. I do have solo hobbies, like sewing, knitting and paper crafts. But they contain actual human interaction on a regular basis. Almost all of my sewing projects have some sort of social tie. I’ve been going to a knitting group on Fridays, and I joined a pen pal group this year with whom I exchange paper crafts and fun letters, etc. The meaning of any pursuit, for me, is not found solely in personal satisfaction but also in connection with others. These games don’t really connect me to anyone.

It does seem that PG, since its reboot, has gathered a lot of new participants. I could dive in again but I don’t see the point. My interest will probably fade again because there will never be a solid community around the game.

PG I could leave easily, as I was never a PG fan, but WU I really like because I’ve been a Harry Potter fan since the first book came out. My interest is fading fast, and that is a bummer. I want to stay with it because I love the extended universe.

On the plus side, not playing the game will give me more time for other things. Maybe a few months’ distraction is the point of these types of games. Perhaps now I can move on, and eventually become distracted by the next shiny thing. We’ll see.

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